Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Upgrades & Downgrades: More Woe for Wal-Mart


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

Dow Industrials (^DJI) belatedly acknowledged April has historically been its single best month of the year, although with weather more reminiscent of January and July these past 25 days, who can blame the index for acting a little confused? Blue chips scored their best gains in a week, ending back above 13,000 after helpful housing data on this side of the Atlantic and a solid if hardly spectacular debt auction in Holland, even as investors are giving the cold shoulder to a similar offering in Germany. Still J&J Snack Foods (JJSF), whose edibles include Dutch Twist and Bavarian Pretzel Bakery, wasn't complaining after surging 13.75% in its strongest showing since June 2000. Alimera Sciences (ALIM) jumped 27.88% to top the Russell 2000 (^RUT) after receiving approval from Hitler's homeland of Austria to treat macular edema, a disease that distorts vision. This as the continent again shamefully appears about to turn a blind eye to the same forces of the far right that rose to power in the 1930s. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium was a funny film that once depicted Europe in a better light, but clearly no one rented it yesterday at Netflix (NFLX), which nosedived 13.90% in its worst performance of 2012.

Elsewhere President Obama's Teflon touch remains intact. News that he had begun a college tour caused an 8.81% implosion in Capella Education (CPLA) while an analyst upgrade of Diebold (DBD), maker of ATM machines that the president says are job killers, sent it up 1.16%. A ratings reduction on Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) meanwhile caused it to lose 3.45%, though few tears will be shed for the firm, especially after it was revealed it forced Manhattan's iconic Gonzalez y Gonzalez - a Mexican restaurant, not Wal-Mart's (WMT) latest law firm - to stop selling…tacos and burritos. Negative research commentary also sent British American Tobacco (BTI) tumbling 1.63%, two years after the BP (BP) Gulf oil spill sent Anglo-American relations up in smoke. Yesterday charges were finally filed in that case, and after only two years; Monday's first criminal trial in the 2008 financial crisis took twice as long. Today in economics, the Fed concludes its two-day policy meeting with an interest rate announcement expected at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. It's the midpoint of another frenetic week for first quarter earnings announcements with AutoNation (AN), Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Ericsson (ERIC), General Dynamics (GD), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), MeadWestvaco (MWV), Northrop Grumman (NOC), Siemens (SI), US Airways (LCC), and Xilinx (XLNX) all due to report results.


Allison Transmission (ALSN): Barclays begins an Overweight on ALSN.

Cooper Companies (COO): COO is covered with a Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Intrepid Potash (IPI): KeyBanc Capital covers the fertilizer firm at a Buy, setting a $30 target price. Catalysts include recently completed projects and other operational improvement initiatives.

KB Home (KBH): Shares are initiated with a In-line at Imperial Capital, whose price objective is $8.25.

Medical devices: Baxter International (BAX) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) are among the fresh Outperforms at Raymond James, which begins Market Perform rated research on Becton Dickinson (BDX).

Susser (SUSS): Benchmark Company starts SUSS with a Buy and sets a $33 target. Upside share price potential is seen in light of good growth and operating margin opportunities.

Vivus (VVUS): The stock is assumed with an Outperform at Credit Suisse.


Apple (AAPL): The tech bellwether is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Scotia Capital after iPhone sales increased 88% year-over-year.

Aeropostale (ARO): ARO gets boosted to Buy from Hold at Janney Scott, whose target is $26.

ARM Holdings (ARMH): ARMH is juiced to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD): The fast food firm gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Deutsche Bank.

Calix Networks (CALX): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Canadian National Railway (CNI): Raymond James raises its rating to Outperform from Market Perform.

Century Aluminum (CENX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the commodity company to Neutral from Underperform.

CR Bard (BCR): The medical instruments outfit is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Cymer (CYMI): Shares are now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Domino's Pizza (DPZ): The fast food firm is lifted to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Ethan Allen Interiors (ETH): ETH is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, whose target is $28. They says the company is significantly outpacing its industry and still has material earnings leverage in front of it.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB): Deutsche Bank boosts the regional financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Freightcar America (RAIL): RAIL is raised to Hold from Underweight at KeyBanc Capital.

J.C. Penney (JCP): BMO Capital boosts the stock to Market Perform from Underperform.

Kindred Healthcare (KND): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Panera Bread (PNRA): PNRA is moved to Buy from Neutral at Miller Tabak, whose target is $178.

Ryder System (R): Robert W. Baird raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral.

STMicroelectronics (STM): Shares are surging before the bell after being boosted to Buy from Hold at Société Générale.

United Technologies (UTX): The Dow member, maker of Otis elevators, is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $96 objective at Argus.

US Steel (X): X is upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Macquarie.


McDonald's (MCD): The blue chip is cut to Hold from Buy at Argus due to decelerating earnings growth.

Wal-Mart (WMT): The retail giant, also in the Dow, is reduced to Hold from Buy at Argus Research amid a Mexico bribery investigation.

Ardea Biosciences (RDEA): Shares are downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair.

Ceradyne (CRDN): CRDN is cut to Hold from Buy at Needham following a first quarter earnings miss and sharply lowered guidance for 2012.

Inphi (IPHI): The equity is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

PPL Corp (PPL): PPL gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital.

PrivateBancorp (PVTB): Keefe Bruyette cuts the company to Market Perform from Outperform.

Progressive (PGR): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Rent-A-Center (RCII): RCII is reduced to Neutral from Long-term Buy at Hilliard Lyons.

Symantec (SYMC): Shares are lowered to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets and Neutral from Buy at Lazard

Total System (TSS): TSS is taken to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Wabtec (WAB): Keybanc cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

WR Berkley (WRB): The insurance company gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at BGB Securities.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos